ABB Optical Appoints Thomas E. Burke III as Chief Executive Officer

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Thomas E. Burke III (l) and Angel Alvarez.
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.—ABB Optical Group has appointed Thomas E. Burke III, a health care logistics leader with nearly 40 years of experience, as its new chief executive officer, according to an announcement Monday. Burke will assume the chief executive responsibilities from company founder Angel Alvarez, who remains as chairman. Brad Weinbrum will continue as president, according to the announcement. Burke most recently was chief executive of Massachusetts-based Medical Specialties Distributors, a supply chain solutions provider for the home infusion therapy, home medical equipment and oncology markets.

“We are thrilled to have Tom as part of the ABB Optical team,” Alvarez said. “He brings the additional talent and leadership needed to harness the dynamic opportunities for growth and innovation that we have in front of us. Tom’s expertise and experience in building innovative customer solutions, developing cutting-edge warehouse and logistics networks, and leading dynamic and engaged teams will be an asset to our customers and all of our stakeholders. He represents a perfect cultural fit with our core values.”

Alvarez will continue to guide the strategic vision of the company as chairman, partnering closely with Burke and Weinbrum as they “guide the organization through its next chapter of growth,” the announcement noted. During his 29 years as chief executive, Alvarez grew ABB from three staff members in a small warehouse room to more than 1,000 employees across eight facilities nationwide.

Burke, throughout his career, has guided world-class organizations through extraordinary growth trajectories, according to the announcement. Prior to his role at Medical Specialties Distributors, he served as vice president / general manager of the specialty distribution division of Cardinal Health from 2012 to 2014 and then as senior vice president / general manager for Cardinal Health’s acute pharmaceutical distribution business. He was chief executive and president of Miami-based Novis Pharmaceuticals, a start-up national distributor of therapeutic products, from 2007 until 2012, when it was acquired by Cardinal Health.

“Since day one, I have been passionate about delivering best-in-class service to healthcare providers to better enable them to improve the lives of their patients,” Burke said in the announcement. “I look forward to working closely with Angel, Brad and the entire ABB team to build upon the strong foundation that Angel has laid over the past 29 years. In this rapidly changing industry, we will continue to be at the forefront with innovative solutions and exceptional service. This is an amazing opportunity and I am happy to be here.”

Founded in 1989, ABB supplies nearly two-thirds of eyecare professionals across the country with brand-name contact lenses, specialty contact lenses, ophthalmic lenses and more. The company also provides business-building services for its customers such as pricing strategy tools, as well as performance dashboards through its Glimpse software division and practice management solutions through Primary Eyecare Network. ABB’s Digital Eye Lab Network utilizes cutting-edge technology to produce eyewear that is personalized to patients’ needs and lifestyles.